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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7129
Experience:  Veterinarian
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Our 6 1/2 yr old Bichon Frise is critically low on Red Blood

Customer Question

Our 6 1/2 yr old Bichon Frise is critically low on Red Blood Cells. She seems to be making new RBCs but they have not yet positively impacted her counts. She has WHITE gums, no energy, no appetite and no interest in the things she lived for until 9 days ago. Vet has her on Prednisone, Amoxicillin, Mirtazine, Vit K & Thyroid (her thyroid levels were low too). He also had her on IV Fluids Monday & Tuesday. She had her first BM today which looked normal. She is also negative for parasites and heart worms. The Vet has mentioned euthanasia twice now but we just can NOT face that at this time. Any suggestions? Is our Vet doing everything possible? Sorella (means sister in Italian) sees the Vet again on Monday. He did suggest possible blood transfusion because her platelet counts are also dangerously low. Help us please if you can.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your Bichon girl Sorella. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. These symptoms are definitely a big concern, but it definitely sounds like your veterinarian and their team have done a lot of work trying to diagnose and treat your girl already. It sounds as though she has a good regenerative response to losing these red blood cells, but it sounds as though the question as to why her RBC count (and platelet count) is so low, hasn't yet been answered. It sounds like a number of diagnostic tests have been run which is great, and this has ruled out a large number of potential issues here including parasites, however I would definitely recommend further diagnostics here if a solid diagnosis hasn't yet been found.

Sorella is on a range of treatments now which is good and should cover off potential issues like rat bait ingestion (the Vitamin K), bacterial infection (amoxicillin) and an immune issue (the steroid prednisone to help here). Hopefully your vet has run a full clotting profile to look to see if there is a clotting issue here. A full CBC (complete blood count) and cytology of a blood smear to check for abnormal cells like spherocytes and a Coombs test will help to rule out an immune mediated issue like immune mediated hemolytic anemia and/or immune mediated thrombocytopenia, and a full biochemistry may also give clues to rule this in our out (such as a raised bilirubin level). An internal bleed should also be ruled out via ultrasound and an abdominal 'tap'.

I would definitely recommend a blood transfusion in your girl's case if the RBC is continuing to drop. This really will be the key to giving her a chance of surviving this. Whole blood will likely be ideal as she needs RBC's and plasma it seems. This may give your vet enough time to make a definitive diagnosis and start the appropriate treatment course for your girl. A blood transfusion is a relatively common procedure in veterinary medicine and definitely isn't something to be afraid or wary of.

Best of luck with your girl. It definitely sounds like your vet is doing all he or she can for your girl, and there have certainly been a lot of diagnostics done already. Do follow up on the above just in case one of the diagnostics mentioned hasn't yet been done. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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